Manchester United surged 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Alex Ferguson's side had received a significant boost on Saturday when second placed Manchester City crashed to a shock defeat to Southampton and the leaders took full advantage with a ruthless display at Old Trafford.
Ryan Giggs broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when the Welsh winger fired home off a post to claim his first league goal of the season and extend his remarkable run of scoring in every Premier League campaign.
Robin van Persie put United in complete control on the stroke of half-time, the Dutch forward rounding Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard before rolling his shot into the net despite Johnny Heitinga's attempt to clear off the line.
Everton had come from 4-2 down to snatch a draw at Old Trafford last season, a result that played a key role in City eventually overhauling their rivals to win the title.
But David Moyes' side never threatened a fightback this time and United easily secured their seventh win from their last eight league games, leaving the title race firmly in their hands with 12 games to play.